Taking Care of Yourself is the Start of Being a Great Parent

It is often quipped that being an intentional parent is more about the parent than the child.  And it is true. We cannot be a healthy parent unless we are a healthy person. Today’s society is very fitness and health aware – and we go to extreme lengths to look after our body – but our physical body is only one aspect of our health.  We need to be healthy in all areas of our self: spiritually, morally, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically.

This post has been updated and shared on the Heart-focused Podcast: When you are a Healthy Person you are able to be a Better Parent

Over to you:

So what do you think about the issue of self-awareness?   
Can you have an honest look at your life?  Your responses?  Your challenges?
Have you intentionally taught self-awareness to your kids?

4 Comments

  1. Anna

    What a fantastic resource. Thankyou Belinda! I certainly have gone down that road.

    Our first child has some sensory difficulties, which took us a long time to figure out what was happening, at the same time we were devastated by some miscarriages and difficult pregnancy sickness. I was stuck in a dark hole for a long time..able to do the bare minimum and feeling very unwell and depressed. I did still take my son to the park etc but it was all very hard. I learned through that that I was powerless and unable to do ANYTHING extra. I couldn’t exercise as I was not able to stay hydrated or keep food down.. I . couldn’t even sit and watch tv with my husband. I had to lie down as soon as my son got to bed. It was horrible but so worth it to be blessed with 2 babies in heaven and another here.

    Now we are feeling that we are recovering from all of that we can begin to rebuild other areas but there certainly has been some .. atrophy? Of the muscles in some areas. I am thankful I have kept some friendships but some did suffer.

    Now I need to unlearn some of the things I experienced as too hard/impossible but I also do have a husband who works nights and is away and on call at times so I find I feel very stuck in terms of not being able to do things without the kids and not being able to plan things incase my husband does go away….

    I love your teachings here about striving for health in all areas and do feel positive that I can aim for that. If we were to get pregnant again it would probably knock us back to survival mode again. Do you think the aim of seeking to be healthy in all areas is a good reason to decide against more pregnancies? Because yes we would likely suffer either with more grief and loss and or more pregnancy sickness for the duration. Ok to sign up for that knowing that it is temporary? God is in control, does he want us to avoid those tough times?

    When it was all happening (17months pregnant/miscarrying/sick/finally baby) I was so upset that we were so sad and sick and of NO use to anyone in terms of ministry, and was not sure why the Lord would want us to be so beaten down, a young married couple should be of great use for discipling in our church… but we were a wreck. Now I can see some deepening that He had worked through that time but during it, it was simply a matter of holding on while we were in agony.

    Ummm… ok not sure where I’m going now. But sometimes being healthy isn’t an option? But now we can be. So time to lift our eyes.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      Wow – thanks for sharing your story. I think it all depends on your definition of healthy – Lets take your very challenging circumstances that made you less than healthy in the physical in that your were limited with what you could do with your body – but your body was working hard and you were doing what was necessary for health of sorts. Maybe not what we see as rosey cheek health – but well being. It isn’t about shining health in all areas – it is about working on the areas that need work, and growing. Another thought I had as I read your comments was that ultimately God wants us to reflect him, and to grow and mature in our relationship, delight and dependency on him. These hard circumstances may not look like health through our human eyes – but when we keep our eyes on Jesus, things have to look different. Whether you do or don’t have more children, you are right – God is in control of that. He is in control of what goes on – and while it is all going on – he calls out to your heart to lean on, to depend on, to trust him – and his purposes will come to fruition – whatever those purposes maybe in the natural, we know that his purpose is to make us more like Christ.

      Reply
  2. Michelle

    Anna thank you for sharing. We are also in process of trying to know whether wise to try for another child. My health issues are long standing and unlikely to go away. Belinda what do you mean by health, as ever since I’ve had children, nearly 6 years, being a wife and a mum pretty much takes everything out of me. I get to lunch and I’m done for the day. Im notreally being a blessing to any outsider. Im greatly fatigued and dizzy daily. We would love another child, i am older, but wonder if wise to continue to try if already stretched and it most likely will mean focusing on my husband and kids only. Our parents are ageing and live a few hours drive away. An outsider looking objectively at our circumstances would think insane, the specialist i see pretty much thinks so, yet our hearts still ache fot another kid. Am over 40 so greater risks and complications. God is bigger than these things but he also wants us to be wise stewards, to try to meet our responsilities. I feel its wrong toforce God’s hand i.e. we are already struggling so is it wise to put more pressure/responsibility. I know God will provide everything i need to be godly but i still think he wants us to make wise choices based on our circumstance/what we see from human eyes…a king first counts his army before going into battle.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      Michelle, I was really talking about an inner health. Inner health is where we are controlling and functioning well in areas of our emotions, our character, being connected to God and people. We can go through physical challenges and still be functioning well in the inner parts of our life. I guess I was thinking of times when we carry burdens, or guilt, or unforgiveness and we project that onto our kids. Times when we are spiritually depleted we can’t call our children on to follow Jesus. Times when we don’t live by the values that we espouse. Some of our circumstances, or physical limitations are actually beyond our control but usually our inner health is something that if we are aware of we can change – even though it takes time.

      Inner health is about dealing with the circumstances we find ourselves in with character.

      Reply

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